BEI Weekly Update
Feb 23, 2024

BEI Weekly Update - 23rd February 2024

Dear Members and Friends,

Watching this week’s fraught developments in Parliament is a stark reminder of how intertwined domestic and foreign policy can be – and how heated the debate can easily become in an age of 24/7 news and social media. The intersection between the two is of course the focus for the British Foreign Policy Group, but having spent most of my career dealing with “abroad” in one way or another, I increasingly sense that professionals who think that foreign policy can be treated as an elite sport will find that they have to explain their activities – and the policies underlying them – at home too. Drawing on BFPG’s expertise, we are well placed to support in this area.

This week we have had three very different events reflecting the range of BEI members’ interests. On Monday, we held a workshop on water resilience in the context of the World Water Tech Innovation Summit, with speakers from WRc and Climate Sense. It was good to meet with DBT sector specialists in a number of key countries: Egypt (George Yunan), Senegal (Dialor Thiam), Kenya (Fridah Cherono) & Cote D’Ivoire (Stephane Ahonzo). Alexandra will share more on this soon.

On Wednesday, the International Development Heads of Business group participated in a round table with Colum Wilson, FCDO’s Head of Humanitarian Department. Colum addressed key priorities for the UK delivering humanitarian aid, in the context of the broader FCDO agenda, outlining the links to the Integrated Review, the International Development Strategy and the recently launched ID White Paper

On Thursday, the Skills and Training Working Group had the opportunity to engage with Dr. Paryono Paryono, Deputy Director of SEAMEO VOCTECH, who provided participants with a useful overview of the current TVET context in the ASEAN region, as well as the work that SEAMEO VOCTECH themselves are doing in this space. ASEAN continues of course as a priority region for our education and skills work.

Looking ahead, on 5 March we host a Virtual Transport Infrastructure in Morocco Workshop, with opportunities around World Cup 2030 in mind. On 6 March, Professor Eric Herring of Bristol University will speak at a highly topical round table on the role of the private sector in international development. At our virtual ‘Disaster Risk Reduction’ event on 7 March, speakers from CDB, Practical Action, Resurgence & United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction will provide an overview of the challenges and possible solutions in this vital area. More on all these next week.

Finally, what I hope will be a tempting offer for at least some of our members with an interest in the Western Balkans (some members will have had to put up with hearing about mine…). The second  ESG  Adria Summit will take place in Montenegro from 24-26 April, bringing together senior government, business leaders, civil society, international organisations and sustainability experts from the region and beyond.  Last year’s Summit was the first major regional event devoted to sustainable development and the role of business in the mainstreaming of ESG standards in practice.  This year’s themes include Sustainable Finance, Green Transition and Social Licence to Operate. For details and registration see the Summit website. BEI members are offered a 10% discount on registration fees with the code. BRITESGADRIA10 

Warm wishes for the weekend ahead,

David Landsman 

Executive Chairman

British Expertise International

Recordings of recent past events:

Key events coming up include the following:

  • 5th March 2024 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. GMT: Transport Infrastructure - World Cup 2030, Morocco. As Morocco prepares to co-host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, there is huge space for UK businesses to collaborate on exciting new projects across the infrastructure landscape. This workshop will provide detail on Transport opportunities.
  • 6th March 2024 09:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. GMT: Education Working Group: The UK is well known for its expertise in education consultancy services: in much of the world “British education” is synonymous with quality. This group enables better collaborative engagement between members, HMG and other key stakeholders. The BEI Education Working Group is now working on the much-awaited Education report on System Strengthening, to be launched in May 2024.
  • 7th March 2024 15:00 p.m. - 16:30 p.m. GMT: Disaster Risk Reduction. Our speakers from the Caribbean Development Bank, Practical Action, Resurgence and UNDRR will draw on their experience to provide an overview of the challenges and some of the solutions their organisations are working on within Disaster Risk Management. 
  • 13th March 2024 15:00 p.m. - 16:30 p.m. GMT: Mobilising Private Climate Finance - The urgency and scale of the climate crisis calls for an unprecedented transformation to the ways we produce, move and consume. One of the key challenges in this endeavor is the need to make climate finance accessible and to mobilise private climate finance in order to support a systemic transition to low carbon and climate resilient development pathways.
  • 14th March 2024 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. GMT: Intersection of Climate Change, Gender-Based Violence and other Harmful Practices - Women and girls can be disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis as it serves to intensify pre-existing inequalities. Our panel will showcase how they are adapting their approach in the nexus of climate change, gender-based violence and other harmful practices.
  • 14th March 2024 14:00 p.m. - 15:00 p.m. GMT: FCDO Development Director: South Sudan - Join us as we host Kobi Bentley, the Development Director in South Sudan for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in South Sudan.
  • 21st March 2024 16:00 p.m. - 19:00 p.m. GMT: Climate Change Working Group Networking Evening - Join us for an evening of thought-provoking conversation, potential new partnerships, and the chance to meet with members of our Climate Change Working Group. Our keynote speaker is Charles Reeve, who specialises in preparing and financing infrastructure to build climate resilience for the economically disadvantaged.
  • 24th April 2024 16:00 p.m. - 17:30 p.m. BST: ICAI Review: International Climate Finance - A new review from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) assesses whether the UK is on track to meet its international climate finance commitments. Join Chief Commissioner Tamsyn Barton and other stakeholders to discuss the findings of the report and how UK aid can be used most effectively to meet this monumental global challenge.

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